Date of Original Version
Abstract or Description
Distributed object technology is profoundly changing the ways in which software systems evolve over time. To a large extent, the focus of reengineering has been to understand legacy systems and to extract their essential functionality so that they can be rewritten as more robust and more maintainable systems over the long term. However, object technology, wrapping strategies, and the Web may be changing the focus and economics of reengineering. The question posed by this paper is the extent to which reengineering strategies ought to continue to use program understanding technology. The cost/benefit ratio of certain forms of program understanding appears to be staying roughly the same over time, while the cost/benefit ratio of wrapping legacy systems or their subsystems is dropping rapidly. As a result, new reengineering strategies that place less emphasis on deep program understanding, and more emphasis on distributed object technologies, should now be considered.